There is nothing better during the holidays than seeing family! As it is always a joy throughout the year, around the holidays it is extra special. It is the time of year that you realize just how important and wonderful family is in your life. As the holidays rolled in for Brent and I, we were excited to be spending out time not out on the road. My parents, brother, and sister all live here in the Gallatin Valley. We are blessed to have family so close as one day we will probably start to scatter. Brent and I have spent the last several years out on the road on Christmas Eve as well as the days leading up to Christmas and the days after. It was a bit of a disappointment to not be heading towards Oregon this year. We have loved our holidays out there, whether it was over Christmas or New Years. Plus it is always a great time when hanging out with the Powells! I am so blessed to have such great in-laws!
With the extra trips that way this year, we just could not make it out there for a third trip. We stayed home to enjoy a wonderful Christmas Eve out at my brother’s house. We enjoyed some amazing clams off the BBQ grill for our appetizer served with butter and a spicy dipping sauce. Then my talented brother made ribs using homemade BBQ sauce. He did a regular sauce as well as a pumpkin BBQ sauce. He loves to make new BBQ sauces using different butters like my homemade pumpkin butter that I whipped up earlier on in the week for him. The pumpkin BBQ sauce was different, but my favorite of the two. We then played a few games with the kids and then a round of Apples to Apples before heading home.
Christmas morning I woke up and got prepared to run a 12 miler. I was going to run it on Saturday, but we got back later from snowshoeing than expected. I went out the door on the beautiful morning of Christmas Day thinking about how great Jesus is and all that he has done and will do. It was a great run with only a few other people out on the roads and trails that I was on. Bozeman was barely awake as I was running from one end of town to the other. Feeling alone with just my thoughts, I traveled across the hill looking down into the valley. I made my way through the middle of the MSU campus with not a soul in sight. What a great way to start off my Christmas morning.
I got home and quickly made myself ready to go enjoy a day with my family over at my sister’s house. We put out a table full of snacks to enjoy as I did not have breakfast and we were not going to have lunch. My brother and his family came over to enjoy time opening gifts and for a little bit more socializing. My sister ran off to church and then my mom and I enjoyed a nice hour walk along my favorite trail. The day turned out to be so beautiful. This time, there were more people on the trail than when I had ran earlier. I guess I was one of the crazy ones to wake up early for some exercise or for me, something I love to do. After our walk, we made our meal which consisted of a Thai soup and some rice. Nothing else. It was a soup I had been wanting to make for a while and this turned out to be the perfect
opportunity. The soup turned out great! We spent a few hours playing games before we headed home as I had to work the next day.
Monday came as an extended holiday because we were able to have Brent’s brother and family over for the evening. As I was impatiently waiting to get off work, they arrived to spend some extra time with Brent. They all were chatting away as I walked through the door. It was sure glad to spend sometime with the Powells. It was also great that they could spend an evening in our neck of the woods even though it was for a short time. Our niece, almost 2, was a joy to watch as she ran around showing off her personality. She is such a cutie. If only we all lived closer. Tuesday morning we woke up early as I had to go in to work at an earlier and I wanted to get any extra time in with the family before they flew away. I enjoyed some time reading to our niece in the morning. It was great to spend that time with her. She is so adorable. (I know I keep mentioning things like this, but she is.) I am once again blessed by my in-laws.
The holidays turned out great even though we were not able to see everyone. We were blessed to have been able to spend a little bit of time with some of the Powells as well as my family. I look forward to the adventures and times with family to come.
Please enjoy some of Brent’s photos from the weekend! (And his new photo gallery/slideshow he designed!)